UPDATE ~ Federal judge rules for Dems in provisional ballot dispute

Updating an earlier report in JURIST's Paper Chase, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that ballots cast in the correct city or township but wrong voting precinct in Michigan must be counted, overruling a state decision to only count provisional ballots cast in the proper district. Michigan's Republican Secretary of State and the US Justice Department had opposed the policy enunciated in the decision, claiming that it invites confusion and fraud while overburdening elections officials. Michigan Democrats hailed the ruling as a victory for voters' rights, saying that it prevents the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. AP has more on the decision, and reports on the possibility that provisional ballots will replace hanging chads of 2000 as a flashpoint in the Nov. 2 election. Read Judge David Lawson's opinion [PDF]. The state is expected to appeal.

 

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